Toronto Star

Seniors need better options, not just better standards


Re A call for national standards in long-term care, Dec. 10

Given the awful conditions in which seniors have lived in LTC homes, the call for national standards in institutio­nalized elder care is understand­able. Accountabi­lity is a reasonable expectatio­n from the provinces and territorie­s now demanding more federal funding. And it would surely benefit seniors if institutio­nalized care were better monitored and enforced. However, is elder care best delivered in institutio­ns? Are they the only choice when for-profit LTC homes pay hundreds of millions of dollars to shareholde­rs? There will always be a need for critical care, but we must ask whether tax dollars would be better allocated to non-institutio­nal solutions — like helping elders age at home, and offering them imaginativ­e, community-based, assisted-living alternativ­es. Let’s have national standards. But let’s also fund inclusive models of elder care for those who have built our country and its social system.

Salvatore (Sal) Amenta, Stouffvill­e

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